I normally start with a quote from somebody smarter than me. But today I'll give you one of my own.

" You do not win until I stop getting back up. "

This introduces the topic of perseverance. Nobody wants to be labeled as a quitter. In today's America it is anathema. But what does it take?

I have heard some people make the absurd mistake of saying, "quitting is not an option." This is patently ridiculous! Of course quitting is an option! Quitting is always an option. It is one of the few options that is always there at all times from beginning to end. It never ever goes away as an option. One can always quit. Always. But quitting inevitably precludes you from getting that what you want to have.

Then there is guilt, remorse, repercussions and consequences Etc. But although those things do come with quitting they do not negate it as an option. I do not argue with someone who quits just as I do not argue with someone who says they cannot do something. I simply respond, "fine, if you can't do it.. you can't have it." This is simple enough for me. But the point here isn't obtaining or not obtaining.

It is about TRYING WITHOUT CEASING. Continuing to get back up. Taking no issue of having been knocked down repetitively. Just getting back up again. You can always give up later. It will still be an option. Just get back up now. You must ask yourself: is it the obtaining that really matters or is it the trying that really matters? If you make the mistake of thinking that your destinations are the important thing about living your life I would urge you to reconsider.

I will submit that once you arrive at said destination nothing, and I mean nothing will have changed except that this destination no longer holds its luster and a new destination must be imagined and employed. However if the growth and development on the path to the destination is where you set your mind to living your life, then you will be able to find satisfaction and fulfillment in every single step forward not just at certain benchmarks and achievements. Every step a victory. Every step continuing instead of quitting.

I never ask my people for perfection. I only ask for progress. I will relate a story about not giving up from the hibakusha. These are the Japanese people who survived the dropping of the atom bomb. If we cannot learn something from them then who, pray tell, will teach us?

This is a highly edited and paraphrased version. A young girl of 15 and her sister both found a way to survive. They found each other where everyone found each other along the train tracks walking to another town. Her sister was affected more by the blast on her stomach and by scratching it had opened wounds into which maggots had grown. Every night her sister would beg her to pull the maggots out so that she could get some sleep because she could feel them moving and hear them eating her flesh. Every night she would pull them all out and was amazed to find more the next night. At one point on their walk the sister disappeared and could not be found.

As it turns out she had committed suicide on the train tracks and was hit by a train. People who know of it told the remaining sister who went to collect what she could. She found that when someone is hit by a train magically all the clothes fly off of their body. She found the clothes and pieces of her sister. A man came by with a box so that she could collect them piece by piece, an arm or leg, a hand, Etc. The head she never found.

Here's the payoff, here's the punchline: she was walking back to bury what she had found of her sister and she looked into the box and wept screaming as loud as she could," why did you not try harder!?"

Let that sink in. This young girl had an atomic bomb dropped on her and was infested with maggots on a wound she had scratched open in her stomach. Who knows what other pains she must have endured. Yet her closest loved one was amazed that she had given up so easily.. she chastised her without any irony whatsoever.

Yes there were thousands who perished but there were at least hundreds who were persistent and who would not quit or give up. It sounds cold of one sister to deride another in this way in these circumstances. But it is an Illuminating contrast of how some people View giving up and persisting.

It takes a while thinking about it to really absorb this lesson.

Try to